Oct 26, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws to fullback Austin Johnson (35) during the second half of a game against the Green Bay Packers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated Packers 44-23. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Following practice, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced several roster moves at Wednesday’s press conference. The Black and Gold placed fullback Austin Johnson on injured reserve and signed tackle Nick Becton from the New York Giants‘ practice squad to the active roster.
Coach Payton also revealed that New Orleans added RB Tauren Poole and FB Michael Zordich Jr. to the practice squad. These moves put the team at the required 53-man roster and the practice squad at ten.
The news of these transactions came yesterday evening, but Payton had not spoken with the media until today. Johnson was injured during the Sunday night matchup with the Green Bay Packers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Coach refused to discuss the severity or timetable regarding the injury, but just simply stated that Johnson is on injured reserve. The Saints full back was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
He spent 2013 on New Orleans’ practice squad, but made the final roster in 2014 after Erik Lorig was injured at training camp in West Virginia. In seven games this season, Johnson recorded eight carries for 22 yards and two receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown.
Becton, who went undrafted following the 2013 NFL Draft, spent time with the San Diego Chargers last season before the Giants signed him to their practice squad in 2014. Now a Saint, the former Virginia Tech lineman is likely for precautionary purposes in case Zach Strief‘s injury keeps him sidelined for an extended period, but hopefully that is not the case.
Tauren Poole has floated around several practice squads before signing with the Black and Gold. He has one carry in his NFL career, which came this season for the Carolina Panthers, and went for a fumble.
Michael Zordich Jr., who spent time with the Panthers as well, played running back in college at Penn State. His father, Mike Sr., was an All-American safety with the Nittany Lions, followed by a career in the NFL. Michael’s father also coached for the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive quality control coach (2010) and safeties coach (2011-2012).
If any more moves are announced throughout the week, we’ll be sure to keep you updated, Who Dat Nation. The Saints take on the San Francisco 49ers next in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at noon on Sunday.